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Vintage Oregon State College Beaver OSC ROTC Distinctive Unit Insignia Enamel Pin Gold Toned Metal, Orange and Black, N.S. Meyer Inc.

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Vintage Oregon State College Beaver OSC ROTC Distinctive Unit Insignia Enamel Pin. This item is a “Distinctive Unit Insignia” (DUI) pin for members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Oregon State College (OSC, now known as Oregon State University [OSU]) of Corvallis, Oregon. The pin was made by N.S. Meyer, Inc., of New York. It is an approximately 7/8-inch-wide by 1-1/8-inch-long, three-peaked shield of gold-toned metal decorated with cloisonné enamel in Oregon State’s distinctive orange and black colors and trademark beaver, sometimes identified as Benny. A black border encloses a deep orange field, on which a resolute black beaver stands facing left, balanced on his hind legs and tail. Above are the letters “OSC” and below are the letters “ROTC”, also in black.

According to the OSU website, (Army) ROTC was officially established at the school in 1916 with the National Defense Act of 1916. The large number of officer graduates in World War II earned the school the title of the “West Point of the West.” After the war, a Naval ROTC (NROTC) program was initiated, and in 1949 an Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) program was established. All “able bodied” male students took two years of ROTC training up until 1962. The three programs continue today as voluntary curriculum options.

The name of the institution was changed from Oregon State Agricultural College to simply Oregon State College in 1937; it became Oregon State University in 1961.

The method of fastening for this pin consists of two tack-like pins with Ballou-type clutch fasteners, which were first produced in 1942. Two different clutch pieces are present on this pin, a Ballou, made in 1948, and a Jandy, dating to the 1960s; at least one of these is obviously not original. These pins were also made in a yellow and black version; this brief research did not find when the pins were first introduced at OSC, nor did it find if there is either a dating or perhaps service branch significance to the two different color schemes.

The embossed maker’s mark consists of “N.S.MEYER, INC. / NEW YORK” followed by two small shields, a faint design on the left one and “9/M” (9 over M) on the right-hand one. This Meyer mark style dates from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, according to web information sourced to Militaria magazine, issue 272, March 2008, p. 43.

This pin likely dates between the mid-1950s (Meyer mark style) and 1961 (OSC becomes OSU). It is in good vintage condition: the enamel is in good shape with no cracks, and the gold-toned finish is bright. The two fastener pins are slightly bent inwards, but not compromised or damaged; they can be straightened if desired (see photos).

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Vintage Oregon State College Beaver OSC ROTC Distinctive Unit Insignia Enamel Pin Gold Toned Metal, Orange and Black, N.S. Meyer Inc.

Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Materials: Gold toned metal, Orange enamel, Black enamel
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 265 reviews
  • Favorited by: 5 people